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New TB drug can speed up cure

A novel antibiotic that is working well in mice may be the first new drug to fight tuberculosis in 40 years, an international team of researchers said last week. The drug works in a new way to shut down the bacteria that cause TB, reports Reuters. The drug is apparently cutting off the energy supply to the bacteria. It may be added to the cocktails used for TB to speed up the treatment, which takes months, the researchers report in the journal Science. Experts hope it can cut down on the treatment time needed, helping patients to achieve a real cure and helping to stop the TB bug from mutating into forms that resist treatment. More TB drugs are expected now because the disease has staged a comeback in the West.

Shampoo chemical damaging

An antimicrobial agent used in shampoos, hand lotions and industrial settings inhibits the development of particular nerve-cell stru-ctures, essential for transmitting signals between cells, according to a study at the University of Pittsburgh. Prolonged exposure to low levels of methyli-sothiazolinone (MIT) restricts the growth of neurons of immature rat nerve cells, apparently by disengaging the machinery of a key enzyme that is activated in response to cell-to-cell contact. This may have potentially damaging consequences to a developing nervous system. As a germicidal MIT is used in personal care products, as well as in water-cooling systems.

Injectable gel for torn cartilage

Researchers at the MIT and Harvard Medical School say they are developing an injectable gel that can speed up repair of torn cartilage, a common spor-ts injury, and may help injured athletes return to competition sooner. The technique uses the patient's own cartilage-producing cells and has the potential to be more effective and less invasive than conventional cartilage repair techniques, which include extensive surgery. When the liquid mixture is injected into areas where the cartilage is torn, the material hardens into a gel upon exposure to ultraviolet light, leaving the transplanted cells in place so they can grow new cartilage where it is needed. The biodegradable material is composed of a natural polysaccharide called hyaluronic acid.

Why bosses marry secretaries

Men are more likely to want to marry women who are their assistants at work than their colleagues or bosses, a University of Michigan study finds. The findings provide support for the widespread belief that powerful women are at a disadvantage in the marriage market because men may prefer to marry less accomplished women, claim researchers.

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